Browse 8 categories of holiday gifts for people with dementia

To make it easier to browse these gift ideas for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, click these links below to jump directly to one of the eight categories on this page or keep scrolling to browse the full list.

5 innovative technology gifts that keep them connected

1) Amazon Echo Show “Alexa” voice assistant with video calling $45 The Amazon Echo Show is an Alexa personal voice assistant with a video screen. It’s similar to the Echo or Echo Dot, with the addition of a video screen.

To make video calls without your older adult needing to take action to accept the call, use the Echo’s “drop in” feature. There are several types of these devices at different price points based on screen size, camera quality, and release date.

2) Amazon Echo (4th Gen) “Alexa” voice assistant with voice calling $100 This hands-free, voice-controlled device makes voice calls, plays music, gives weather reports, reads the news, answers questions, tells jokes, reads audiobooks, checks sports scores, and more.

Set up the “drop in” feature to make voice calls to people who aren’t able to actively answer a call. Find out more about how Echo can help people with dementia.

3) Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) “Alexa” voice assistant with voice calling $35 The Echo Dot is the smaller size, more affordable “little sibling” to the Amazon Echo.

It can do everything the Echo does, but has less powerful speakers and microphones.

Set up the “drop in” feature to make voice calls to people who aren’t able to actively answer a call. Find out more about how Echo can help people with dementia.

4) ViewClix Smart Frame from $200 These smart picture frames display digital photos in a 10-inch screen size ($200) or 15-inch screen size ($300).

Both sizes have video calling with an auto-answer mode. When auto-answer is set up, the older adult doesn’t need to do anything to receive a video call.

This is especially helpful for making video calls to someone with dementia or who isn’t able to physically answer a call.

Tip: When choosing a screen size, think about your family member’s vision: is it poor or starting to decline? If so, go with the largest screen size that your budget allows.

We discuss the ViewClix Smart Frame in greater detail here.

5) RAZ Memory Cell Phone, $309 + monthly service This dementia-friendly mobile phone is a cell phone that someone with cognitive impairment can actually use.

It has a single screen that never turns off, calling by picture, and emergency services.

It also has an optional alternative service that answers emergency calls if someone with dementia frequently makes unwanted 911 calls.

8 fun, specially-designed puzzles and activities

1) Keeping Busy puzzles and activities for Alzheimer’s and Dementia These wonderful, non-childish, age-appropriate activities come with instructions on how to present the activity to ensure that the person with dementia feels a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

They’re also tested with seniors at different stages of dementia to ensure that the activities are enjoyable and well-suited for various ability levels.

  • Easy Number Bingo $15 Play simplified games of bingo, an activity that everyone loves, quickly and easily with no real setup necessary.

  • Sequenced Crossword $20 The sequencing system, clue guides, and word lists help the person with dementia complete the puzzle successfully.

  • Match The Chips $20 Multi-colored poker chips and color templates provide a variety of sorting and matching activities. This game offers cognitive challenge and helps with dexterity and fine motor skills.

  • Eastern Woodlands – 35 Piece Sequenced Jigsaw Puzzle $23 The unique color coding on the pieces and tray help guide someone with dementia to successfully complete the puzzle on their own.

  • Match The Shapes Low Vision Edition $30 36 brightly colored tiles draw the person’s attention and offer tactile stimulation. The large colored templates with wide spacing provide guidance and help the person with dementia be successful.

2) Activity and puzzle books for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

  • Grandma & Grandpa’s Word Searches Volume 1 and Volume 2 $6 Each volume of this activity book has 27 simple, large-print word searches designed for people with cognitive impairment. There are only horizontal words, no diagonal ones.

  • The Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book $8 This book is full of easy puzzles, brain games, writing activities and coloring pages. Some of the puzzles include crosswords, word searches, mazes, find the differences, trivia, and more.

  • The Fun and Easy Memory Activity Book for Adults $8 This activity book includes a selection of activities, puzzles, and games that target short-term and long-term memory as well as easy puzzles and brain games.

  • Little Moments of Joy Adult Activity Book $8 Another fantastic book packed full of entertaining activities including easy puzzles, brain games, writing activities, and coloring pages.

  • Easy Relaxing Puzzles $8 This fun puzzle book has simple instructions, large print, and clear pictures. It includes extra-easy Spot the Odd One Out puzzles, simple-to-solve mazes, large-print word search puzzles, and Find the Differences puzzles.

  • Delightful! Easy Puzzles, Memory Activities and Brain Games for Adults $10 This activity book has large print and easy-to-see images. It includes classic puzzles like word searches, Find the Differences, mazes, sudoku, and Spot the Odd One Out. It also includes fun memory activities and brain games.

3) Recreate handy hobbies Help someone recreate memories of past projects with these tool-based activities.

4) Encourage creative expression with simple art activities

5) Enjoy block puzzles and free-form building

6) Springbok Puzzles to Remember, from $13 Springbok has designed 36 and 100 piece jigsaw puzzles in a wide variety of beautiful designs for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The large pieces are easier to grip and see and the pictures are vibrant and artistic – not at all childish.

7) Relish Magnetic “Puzzles,” $25 These puzzles are designed for people unable to do traditional puzzles. They’re an alternative with the same level of satisfaction and without the stress of getting it wrong.

In these puzzles, people create their own scene using a set of magnetic pieces that can be placed on the background board.

8) Portrait Puzzles custom photo puzzle $30 Use your own photo to create a custom 30 piece custom jigsaw puzzle, 16 x 20 inch size. These puzzles are designed for people with reduced vision, low mobility, and cognitive impairment.

5 activities that give a sense of accomplishment

1) Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Activity Set: Pets $9 This lacing activity is especially great for someone who enjoyed sewing. This kit includes 5 fun animal pictures that make it fun and easy to “sew” along the holes at the edges.

2) Coogam 32 Piece Jumbo Nuts and Bolts Set $10 This set includes brightly colored plastic nuts and bolts in 4 shapes and 4 colors. Enjoy hours of safe fun by attaching and detaching the nuts and bolts or sorting by color or shape.

3) Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads $12 Large wooden beads with oversized holes are perfect for lacing. This set includes 30 brightly colored wooden beads in different shapes and 2 colorful lacing strings in a wooden storage case. Tip: Buy colorful shoelaces if you need more lacing strings.

4) Melissa & Doug Wooden 24-piece Tool Box $14 This 24-piece set includes wooden tools, nails, screws, nuts, and bolts.

5) Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards $17 These fun shapes can be used in a variety of ways. Use the included boards to create colorful pictures, make free form shapes, or trace the shapes on paper.

7 gifts that comfort and soothe seniors who are anxious or fidgety

1) Tangle Jr. Textured Sensory Fidget Toy $10 This fun twisty fidget toy has a variety of textures and colors for tactile and visual sensory stimulation. It’s silent and calming to use so it won’t disrupt or disturb others.

2) Pro-Tec Spiky Massage Ball $10 This 3-inch diameter ball has a gently spiky outer layer that gives a massage effect.

3) WQFXYZ Pop Push It Bubble Fidget Sensory Toy $14 Press the bubbles to make a slight popping sound. Then, flip it over and start over. This handy fidget toy is easy to clean and reuse.

4) Fidget quilts and soft items These comforting items give nervous hands something safe and soothing to fiddle with.

5) Busy Fingers Weighted Fidget Lap Pad with 3 Activity Panels $44 This plush weighted pillow provides soothing pressure and calming benefits. Activity panels include: find hidden objects in the pellets, push a marble through a maze, or twirl and stretch fun colored coils.

6) Weighted blankets Weighted blankets have been scientifically proven to relieve distress and anxiety. They’re especially helpful for soothing people with Alzheimer’s or dementia – day or night.

Note: We’ve also got DIY weighted blanket instructions here.

7) Custom photo blankets These cozy blankets help seniors stay warm and cozy while keeping familiar faces nearby.

4 gifts that seniors can cuddle and care for

1) Stuffed animals Cuddly stuffed animals like these give comfort and can become a pet or companion. We especially love this cockapoo puppy, this classic teddy bear, and this striped cat.

2) My Little Puppy singing plush puppy $32 This soft, cuddly puppy is 10 inches tall and sings “If You’re Happy And You Know It.” The best part is that it claps its hands and ears along with the song!

3) Joy for All Pet Companion robotic cat or puppy. From $125 These lifelike and engaging pets are cute and cuddly soft. They’re battery powered and can purr, meow, bark, move, and respond in realistic ways when petted or hugged. Find out more in our review here.

4) Therapy dolls Therapy dolls can provide comfort and help seniors feel useful and needed because they have something positive to focus on.

Dolls can also bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men. They can also ease feelings of isolation and sadness because they have someone to love and care for.

Find out more about the positive effect of therapy dolls for dementia he